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Nothingman

Amp and effects - Trying to find my 'sound'

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Hey, 

Having only recently come back to playing, I am looking for advice on amps and effects to help craft the sound I am looking for. 

Back in the day I was a bit of gear nerd, finger style (mainly), lots of FX and nice amp set up. But my new found enjoyment has seen me regress and try something different. Now I am playing in a very fuzzy/dirge soaked 3 piece (think Dinosaur Jr, Mudhoney et al) where I play a lot of 'chords', perfect 5ths and the like with a pick and mostly through distortion. You see the Guitarist has a very stark set up of clean and Rat pedal. Nothing more. 

Because of this I play almost like a second guitarist, the kind of style that will have you purists cursing my very soul! :biggrin: I am currently using a Squire P/J through a Rat clone (purchased of a lovely chap on here). But I am looking at a second fuzz/OD/Distortion that offers something different to the RAT clone, but both will be used. Maybe chords on one and normal playing on the other. Basically looking for that fuzzy dirty undertone all the way through the sound. 

Secondly what type of amp should I be looking for? I know the lightweight revolution has exploded since I was last in the game, but I do have a soft spot for a good old big rig. Currently I am plating through a Ashdown Mag 300 (maybe) and an ampeg 4x10 at our practice place. Its a fine set up but maybe not offering me that sound I needs. Needs to be warm, room filling, a little dynamic and able to service the muddiness of the playing! I would love to play through a 6x10 or 8x10 cab but do not have the space to store until I buy my new house. So I am going to worry about FX and amps first and get by scrounging cabs from mates for gigging at the moment.  

 

Everything I am looking to do would be on a budget as apparently spending money on bass gear is not a priority when you've got a mortgage and kids. I know, strange people! 

 

Any recommendations, pointers, gear ideas or criticisms are most welcome !

 

Have a great day. 

Will

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My favourite amp for playing dirty chords on bass is my HH 2 x 12" guitar combo. Have you considered adding a guitar rig to your bass rig?

If you want an always on pedal for a slightly driven sound, maybe try the BDI21 and if you like it check out the more expensive sansamps it's modelled on. Otherwise I really like the look of the bass tube screamer but not had chance to try one yet. It has a clean blend and I imagine it'll be like a weird old tube screamer I have. This and the BDI21 are the only pedals in my collection that'd do the "always on" job.

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From reading your post you naturally are returning to playing where you left off, with effects forming that blanket comfort zone that has become your sound.

I would say try and find it in pure rock n roll - meaning Bass -guitar and drums + vocal stripped back If you can find an outfit with some vocal harmonies and just keep the music pure then you will find yourself.

You may find the effects are masking a sound you don't like but there is the point. going out as a 4 piece without keyboard and using less effects is the best move i made. 

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54 minutes ago, cheddatom said:

My favourite amp for playing dirty chords on bass is my HH 2 x 12" guitar combo. Have you considered adding a guitar rig to your bass rig?

If you want an always on pedal for a slightly driven sound, maybe try the BDI21 and if you like it check out the more expensive sansamps it's modelled on. Otherwise I really like the look of the bass tube screamer but not had chance to try one yet. It has a clean blend and I imagine it'll be like a weird old tube screamer I have. This and the BDI21 are the only pedals in my collection that'd do the "always on" job.

Woah! Guitar amps good call! Yes I have often thought about that but always been a little scared of them. Don't know why, just imagine i'd blow something. Probably very Naive on my part! mmm guitar amps for bass may have to be my new search criteria. 

 

I always used to turn my nose up at Behringer products. However looking at the reviews sounds like you cant go wrong for that price! I used to use an MXR M80 and out of all my old gear that is the one thing I regret getting rid of! 

That is awesome cheers!  

Edited by Nothingman

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24 minutes ago, deepbass5 said:

From reading your post you naturally are returning to playing where you left off, with effects forming that blanket comfort zone that has become your sound.

I would say try and find it in pure rock n roll - meaning Bass -guitar and drums + vocal stripped back If you can find an outfit with some vocal harmonies and just keep the music pure then you will find yourself.

You may find the effects are masking a sound you don't like but there is the point. going out as a 4 piece without keyboard and using less effects is the best move i made. 

Hi, thanks for the input. 

 

To be honest, I am not returning to my comfort zone. It is a very different style (I was a bit of a technical guy back in the day and now straight down the line thrashing it out) and effects were only an enhancement, not part of the sound. 

 

I do have another project in the line that is a lot more light and clean and will probably playing a very 'raw' direct sound with that one as the bass will be playing a more traditional role in the band. 

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Nothingman said:

Woah! Guitar amps good call! Yes I have often thought about that but always been a little scared of them. Don't know why, just imagine i'd blow something. Probably very Naive on my part! mmm guitar amps for bass may have to be my new search criteria. 

 

That is awesome cheers!  

it's the speakers you need to be careful with, just don't put too much low end through them... but that HH Combo does take a beating :)

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2 minutes ago, cheddatom said:

it's the speakers you need to be careful with, just don't put too much low end through them... but that HH Combo does take a beating :)

Ah, that may be the key. I am playing with a lot of mid so may be safe.....

 

Time to shop! 

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Yeah, something like a bass combo or bass amp & cab, plus a  guitar combo, split the signal and have effects/gain on the guitar amp, keep the lows solid on the bass amp.

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You can do some clever stuff with a boss Ls-2 (??) I think splitting the low and high signal and sending them through different effects. Something like that may help you, but you would be best asking in the effects topic area for specific advice like that and getting a more knowledgeable response than I can give.

I can recommend the Hartke VXL DI pedal for some drive (not dirty), can be found cheap second hand.

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14 hours ago, Nothingman said:

Woah! Guitar amps good call! Yes I have often thought about that but always been a little scared of them. Don't know why, just imagine i'd blow something. Probably very Naive on my part! mmm guitar amps for bass may have to be my new search criteria. 

 

I always used to turn my nose up at Behringer products. However looking at the reviews sounds like you cant go wrong for that price! I used to use an MXR M80 and out of all my old gear that is the one thing I regret getting rid of! 

That is awesome cheers!  

If your into incorporating guitar elements into your playing you might want to watch this Tom Petterson rig run down clip.

 

 

Blue

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3 hours ago, Bluewine said:

If your into incorporating guitar elements into your playing you might want to watch this Tom Petterson rig run down clip.

 

 

Blue

Brilliant! Long overdue some Cheap Trick listening too! 

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Start collecting 2x12 cabs if you want a haulable rig of your own. At 8Ohms you will give yourself options to mix&match.

The boss ls-2 is great for splitting a signal, combining different effects chains, etc.

The BDi21/VXL/sansamp are great at a natural driven tone with a little edge. M80 is a very useful unit but I tested it against the ZVEX Distortron which retains more melodic tone in the dirt, and doesn't kill lows if you don't want it to.

You may get a lot of use out of an octaver in the setup you are describing.

Whrn building your sound before the amp you only need to make it louder. I'd recommend a nice clean amp, no need to schlep a 70lb tube monstrosity unless you're dead set on one.

Have some play days at local music stores, try what's out there these days. Leave your wallet at home 😉

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On 1/13/2018 at 08:29, Bolo said:

Start collecting 2x12 cabs if you want a haulable rig of your own. At 8Ohms you will give yourself options to mix&match.

The boss ls-2 is great for splitting a signal, combining different effects chains, etc.

The BDi21/VXL/sansamp are great at a natural driven tone with a little edge. M80 is a very useful unit but I tested it against the ZVEX Distortron which retains more melodic tone in the dirt, and doesn't kill lows if you don't want it to.

You may get a lot of use out of an octaver in the setup you are describing.

Whrn building your sound before the amp you only need to make it louder. I'd recommend a nice clean amp, no need to schlep a 70lb tube monstrosity unless you're dead set on one.

Have some play days at local music stores, try what's out there these days. Leave your wallet at home 😉

Sounds like I need to get my hands on a LS2! 

 

Thanks for the input, time to get shopping. 

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